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A Rescued Surfer Who Got Lost on Purpose

Police initially said the man had been pulled out by a current off the coast of Bulli. He says they’re wrong.

Over a week ago, a surfer later identified as a Japanese man named Toru was plucked from the ocean by a cargo ship, having spent 16 hours alone on his surfboard some three-and-a-half miles off the coast of Bulli, which is about 40 miles south of Sydney. 

Initially, according to the Australian Broadcasting Association, police had said that Toru’s nighttime odyssey was a result of getting caught in a current, which pushed him farther and farther out to sea. 

But this week, in speaking to the media for the first time since the ordeal, Toru thought he would clear some things up. It wasn’t a current, he explained, but his attraction to fear and the Moon that led him to paddle out that far. (The video above is Toru singing a song to a local reporter, who was there to interview him.)

“Scary is a very important feeling … I like to fight against scary, [to] fight against the enemy inside,” he told ABC

Toru claims he gets by on busking, and, for now, is camping on a beach not far from where he set out paddling that night. 

He spoke freely with the media when asked about his “beautiful” experience on the water, but said that he would be sticking to day-time surfing for now.

Police also advised against trying to recreate Toru’s adventure for yourself. 

“Most people that get themselves in that situation die,” a police sergeant told the Illawarra Mercury.